Being a teenager is hard. They need our help!

Do you remember those teenage years? We do too! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone, but Teen Lifeline exists to equip, encourage and empower teenagers to live life better. Get involved in one of the following ways:

Why Support Groups?

We believe that Support Groups offer teenagers a safe place to ask questions, receive the emotional support they need, and develop healthy peer and mentor relationships.

If these support groups do not exist, teenagers are going to continue to fall between the cracks. Instead of complaining about the current state of our culture, let’s encourage, equip and empower this next generation to make better choices.

# of students helped during 2015-2016 school year

# of trained Teen Lifeline facilitators

We were so thankful to have Teen Lifeline available to meet with our students. With more demands on the school counselor’s time, it is great to have a reliable option for help with our students. We are already thinking about how we want to use TL next year.

Dawson MS Counselor

Carroll ISD

It has been a great blessing to walk beside these kids on their turf, to equip them with some tools to help break the generational cycles of self-esteem, relationship, and spiritual poverty, and to assist them in casting a vision on where they want to be and how they might get there.

Jacob

Decatur ISD, Support Groups Facilitator

YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!

Reclaiming Human Interaction

I am feeling old fashioned lately. As a relative late-comer to the social media scene, I find myself more as a consumer of these platforms (i.e. just reading and observing) than an actual participant. I like to post overly cute pictures of my kids or post some off-kilter observations of the world around me, but as for using social media as a place for serious discussion, I don’t know how to do it. I’ve had some fun discussions with those just slightly younger than me (including a certain female member of our staff here at Teen Lifeline) about the merits, or lack thereof, surrounding how we use social media. I didn’t grow up with it but more engaged with it well into my mid to late 20’s – well past the age of indoctrination on such things.

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It’s Not the Teacher’s Fault

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this. Mainly from students but also from parents who see the teacher as the problem in a particular class. I have to admit, I have even said the same thing when I was in school. Even though this is an easy thing to fall back on, I have never felt comfortable (and the more I work with teachers and schools, I feel less and less comfortable) with this mentality. The problem has been that I didn’t know how to process this mentality in order to make it better, much less how to communicate to people how they too could shift their perspective, stop blaming and start making positive progress. That is until recently. I just finished a book called Extreme Leadership. It is a business book, but the last principle they talk about in the book helped me begin to clarify why the idea that the teacher is the problem doesn’t compute for me, and I hope it won’t for you either.

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5 Ways to Keep Teens Safe This Summer

As a teenager, there are few things greater than Summer Break – no school, getting to sleep in, more time with friends, days by the pool or at the lake, family vacations, snow cones, and fewer rules. Wait, fewer rules? How does that make sense? Unfortunately, as teenagers gain more free time in the summer, many are also held to lower standards, fewer boundaries and later curfews. As someone who works with students in the school year, who hears about their wild weekends, and crazy summer stories, please don’t make it easier for your child to get into trouble. Summer is fun (and it should stay that way), but fun doesn’t mean that you stop parenting. Summer is the time when you need to be even more on guard! As the parent (or friend, coach, youth minister, mentor) of a teenager, it is your job to help them set their boundaries, manage freedom and make good decisions.

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Helping Students Lament

This past week, I was on staff at a church camp and spent time teaching a Bible Class. Earlier in the Spring, they put out the class list for the teachers to choose a topic, and I guess I got there a little too late…One of the only topics left was on mourning. Yay! Or boo, I guess. As I started preparing for this lesson, I was led to the various “laments” in the Old Testament of the Bible. In these laments, the authors would express their pain and grief in such a way to leave no doubt how they were feeling about things. Typically, the authors would speak in metaphors to describe the pain they were going through, and often the finger was pointed directly at God. Being a former youth pastor, I thought I had taught it all. And having taught “church kids” most of that time, I assumed they have heard it all. But not this time.

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Ask These 5 Questions First

This past week, I watched Apple’s WWDC event. There is a formula for events that big to go well. While there isn’t so much a formula for helping students, there are some things we can apply to many different situations in order to form a process that can most often lead to the best results. Our steps have been formed over more than a decade of working with students (7 years as Teen Lifeline), and we keep working to make it better. We get calls fairly often from parents asking how they can get help for their teen. When we get those calls, there are some questions I like to work through that seem most helpful and help me know what information and resources I can offer to be most helpful. These questions are not necessarily in any particular order, but I do typically work through them as I have listed them below. You can decide where you want to start and end in your own situations.

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Helping When It Hurts

I just got back from serving with LiveBeyond in Thomazeau, Haiti, where poverty, starvation, sickness and Satan can be seen at every corner. While I was still processing this level of hurt and pain, I came home to the injustice of the Orlando shooting. Hurt has so many different faces. Hurt can be overwhelming and sometimes it is easier to do nothing rather than wade into the unknown of pain. However, if there is anything that I have learned while in Haiti, it is that we cannot simply sit back and stay quiet. If not us, then who?

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STAY IN TOUCH WITH TEEN LIFELINE

Teen Lifeline

2501 W. Southlake Blvd | Southlake | TX | 76092

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